Al Gallo has been a member of Austin Telco Federal Credit Union since 2002. He calls it his home bank and never considered he’d go anywhere else for his home loan. He was living in an apartment in Rockport, Texas until he knew where he wanted to live more permanently, but little did he know his home loan journey would come during one of the biggest hurricanes to hit the gulf coast.
Gallo’s journey began by looking on the credit union’s website more than a year before he purchased his home. There he found information about Loan Officer Mark Crowley and contacted him to begin the process.
After visiting many open houses, Gallo found the home of his dreams in early July. “It was in Corpus Christi and only on the market one day and was absolutely perfect. I had put in an offer and they had five other offers as well,” said Gallo.
Mark advised Gallo to apply online to begin his home loan. “The online application was pretty easy to get through and then I sent all my documents to Mark,” said Gallo. I worked with some of the processing team and waited on the appraisal, but I needed to move fast. This was a great house and others were contacting the buyer.
In the meantime, as Gallo and Mark finished up the final details of the paperwork, Hurricane Harvey was headed to the Texas coast. “I had never been in a hurricane before, but my sister encouraged me that I needed to evacuate and not risk it. So, I grabbed everything I could and headed to my daughter’s house in Houston and got out of Rockport. I’m glad I did,” said Gallo.
Gallo stayed at his daughter’s house for several days waiting out the storm and flooding. Thankfully her home wasn’t hit by the storm and they were safe. Gallo heard back from his apartment complex that his unit was one of the few that didn’t receive much damage and he could come back. A few days later, they would change their mind though and require evacuation.
“The units above mine lost their windows and the water had seeped through the walls and mold was starting to spread,” explained Gallo. “I had to have everything I owned out of the apartment as quickly as possible.”
None of Gallo’s household items were destroyed in the hurricane, but he had a lot to remove from the apartment and nowhere to go. He packed everything up and shipped it to his sister to store for a while. His phenomenal realtor, Nadiya Zitser with Keller Williams, saved the day by having a condo arranged for Gallo to stay in while he finished up his home purchase.
In the meantime, they were awaiting a final appraisal and then Gallo got that call from Processor Martina Vallejo. “Martina was like the cherry on top of a well done ice cream sundae that Mark was building for us,” said Gallo. Martina had called to explain that everything was ready to go to closing.
While Gallo waited out the biggest storm ever to hit the Texas Coast, his new home stood strong and secure waiting for Gallo to move in.
“Mark Crowley was a big part of us getting this house and making it possible. You hear about this type of thing on the news when stuff like this happens, but you can’t possibly imagine the hurt and destruction happening. No jobs. No business. I feel for those people,” said Gallo. “I have a great home ahead of me and not a flower in the garden was touched by the storm. I’m so thankful and feel very blessed. Thank you to all who helped make it happen!”
Mark Crowley, NMLS 458989, serves credit union members in the Austin, Texas area and has more than 12 years experience in mortgage lending.